West Coast Alert

West Coast Alert
November 2008

Susie Wall


Trattoria Italian Kitchen Planning dinner-and-a-movie night with your fashion pack? Skip the downtown drama for a sumptuous, styling evening at 4th Avenue’s new Trattoria Italian Kitchen. This slick, 100-seat cusina dishes contemporary rustic fare to well-heeled West siders (show up early – they don’t do resos) overdue for a chic-casual hotspot in the hood. Next stop? A two-minute walk to 5th Avenue Cinemas (aka Goldie, Kate and Kurt’s preferred local flick factory) for a screening of The Duchess. Now repeat the equation: Food + Film + Fashion = Fab.
1850 West 4th Ave., (604) 732-1441,


Valley of the Dolls Jump on your city bike (lickity split!) and check out Avril Tait’s cheeky new fashion outpost. Valley of the Dolls carries a fresh-and-forward selection of women’s threads (stay tuned for a smaller men’s section) from the likes of Isabelle Dunlop (I’m obsessed with her Scottish knit shawls, mod T-shirt dresses and pretty lockets), Fumbling Foe, Voom, Puella and Gypsy 05. The shoppers? Girls who rock the high-low look so well you’d swear they were undercover stylists. P.S. Love the LA-esque décor, the pristine vintage section and the denimology-for-under-$100.
4332 Main St. (at 28th), (604) 569-DOLL.


ULTRA menswear Calling all style-starved dudes and gents! Milan-educated, Vancouver-raised designer Christopher Bates has returned home to debut select pieces from his new menswear line, ULTRA, later this month at Gastown’s stand-out Twenty Three. So what are you waiting for, princess? Get your BF down there to test drive Bates’ unique spin on Euro-minded man-style. Think: dress shirts avec razor cuffs, zipper-back pocket trousers and tees with raw cuffs and collars. Note: full collection lands early in 09. Fantastico!
73 East Cordova St., (604) 683-7313 or visit


Circle Craft Who says crafty has to spell corny (or worse – fugly?) Get a jump on your gift list at Circle Craft’s Christmas Market Preview (October 3rd to November 4th) at the Circle Craft Shop and Gallery on Granville Island. Consider this preview a gourmet appetizer – Canadian clay, wood, clothing, jewelry and fibre artists will be on full display November 11-16th at the Vancouver Exhibition and Convention Centre. My fave find? This Raplapla doll—handmade and washable, it will trump every last Toys R Us castoff in little Olive’s toy box. 1—1666 Johnston St., Net Loft, (604) 669-8021,


UBC Apple Festival Break out your Theory jodhpurs and slick new knee boots for a trip to the UBC Botanical Garden’s Annual Apple Festival—where 60 new and heritage varieties are celebrated (and over 30,000 lbs of fruit are sold during this two day apple Olympics). Don’t miss the giant jugs of organic B.C. nectar for sale, or better yet—for $3 you can sample dozens of different varieties of B.C.’s best (kind of like a wine tasting, minus the slurring). P.S. And your lip shade for the day? Aveda’s Sheer Ambrosia, natch. October 18 & 19th (11-4pm), visit